Gas usage is very high - and our hot water is always on?

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Hi all,

I was hoping someone could help....

I live with my parter in a 3 bed, small detatched house. There's just the two of us living here.

We are currently using about 26,000 kWh of gas every year and 1900 kWh of electricity. I find that our gas usage is very high.....does it seem high to you?

I'm trying to work out why it is so high.

In our airing cupboard we have the water tank. There's a programmer in there which let's us set the time that our hot water and central heating should come on. I've had this turned off for both for about a month now. However, I've noticed that our water coming out of the taps is still hot and never seems to run cold....

This leads me to believe we are heating our water 24/7 and could be the cause of our high gas usage...but I cannot understand why the hot water is still being heated when I haven't set it to come on. I don't think it can be the emersion heater either as this is electric power right?

Does anyone have any ideas for me?

Thanks
 
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Does anyone have any ideas for me?

Your gas usage is 2.5 times that of mine, in a three bed semi. Strangely, your electric consumption is only 2/3rds of mine. So yes, your gas use is high, but that depends on how well insulated the house is, how drafty, double glazed or single, plus what controls you have on the heating system.

It sounds as if the time clock is only for the central heating, rather than the hot water - or the water side of the time clock has been shorted out somehow. I assume the hot water cylinder has a thermostat on it? - Try turning that all the way down, to see if the hot water eventually runs out. If you then turn it up, the boiler should come on and reheat the water.

Yes, an immersion heater is electric and would be expensive to use, about three times the cost of gas heated water and your electric consumption suggests not.
 
Gas spend does look a bit excessive. Are you sure the programmer is controlling the hot water- wouldn't be a big surprise if it was really controlling 2 heating zones(downstairs and upstairs) and the hot water is on all the time. Your electricity consumption looks reasonable so unlikely that the immersion heater is on (but check anyway, there's usually a switch somewhere in the cupboard where the cylinder is- worst case have a look in your consumer unit for an MCB or fuse marked Immersion Heater and switch it off/remove it)

Some stuff you can try....is there a thermostat on the cylinder? If there is, increase the setpoint on it (usually clockwise) and see if the boiler fires up- if it does then you have constant hot water- which with a well insulated cylinder won't be costing the moon, if there's no or poor lagging on the cylinder then yes you'll be burning far more gas than you need to.

And try switching the boiler off entirely (there will be an OFF switch on the thing somewhere) and see if the water gets cold
 
Unless you're using a massive amount of hot water, you might not notice if you've been using the electric immersion heater to heat the water.

When we were having building work done on our house a few years ago, the gas boiler was decommissioned for six months so we used the electric immersion heater for all our hot water. I keep track of our monthly gas and electricity usage, and I was surprised that I couldn't really see an increase in our electricity usage over this period.
 
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Post a pic of your boiler, programmer and HW Cylinder so we can see your set up, you might have a jammed open 2 port zone valve if you have an S plan
 
Hi All,

Thanks for all the replies. What would be the best way to stop the water from heating then? I think a plumber once said we also had a tank in the loft....maybe this is the culprit?

I've attached quite a few pictures. There is a button in the airing cupboard which you can see is turned on (on the left hand side). What does this do?

thanks
Dom
 

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Hi again, you do indeed have and S plan system, I have circled the lever on the white actuator head, the little black indicator can you post a pic of what position that is showing please, Edit sorry that is the release lever to remove the head, the opposite end of where the cable enters ther is a black lever, when you try to move it across does it show resistance or not
actuator.jpg
 
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Interesting that the pump is running despite the controller being off. That white switch in your pic 2- it is quite possibly for the immersion heater or could be power to the controller, can't really tell. Where do the 2 cables go from that switch? That cylinder is fairly modern and will retain heat quite effectively so having the (gas fired) hot water on permanently wouldn't cost a fortune provided that thermostat and valve are working correctly.
 
Thanks for all the replies. What would be the best way to stop the water from heating then? I think a plumber once said we also had a tank in the loft....maybe this is the culprit?

I've attached quite a few pictures. There is a button in the airing cupboard which you can see is turned on (on the left hand side). What does this do?

If you mean the switch on the left, which is turned on, then I would expect that to be the means to isolate your heating systems power. Turning that off (if I'm correct) should mean the boiler does not fire at all. The timeclock will go blank and might loose its time and its settings, see if there is a manual for it, or look online for one - it is quite an old one. With those switches set as in the photo to off, the boiler should not be heating the water at all, but ?????

The first photo is the cylinder stat - that sets how hot your hot water gets, when heated by the boiler. Turning that to a lower setting, will / should also stop the boiler heating the water. sweeping that control through its entire range, it should click at some point.

That item on top of your cylinder, with the white cable going to it from the wall, is the immersion heater. Under the cover is its thermostat, which can be set to what ever temperature you want when it is heated by the immersion heater. Its usual for there to be a way to isolate it via a switch in that cupboard, but not in your case. Somewhere you will have a switch, possibly with a warning light to prove its on, usually in the kitchen. If you find that, turn it off, but there should be a fuse or MCB in your consumer unit, marked 'water heater', or 'immersion heater'.

Alternatively, there might be a time clock switching the immersion heater on and off at set times.
 
Interesting that the pump is running despite the controller being off. That white switch in your pic 2- it is quite possibly for the immersion heater or could be power to the controller, can't really tell.

I don't think so, you can see a cable in and a flex coming out the switch, too small for an immersion heater, besides the flex to the immersion appears out of the wall via a flex outlet.

The flex from the switch goes down and if you look at the heating clock, a similar white flex comes into it from the bottom - one and the same flex???

Down from switch on the left to the airing cupboard floor, along then up in the right hand corner to the clock.
 
I don't think so, you can see a cable in and a flex coming out the switch, too small for an immersion heater, besides the flex to the immersion appears out of the wall via a flex outlet.

The flex from the switch goes down and if you look at the heating clock, a similar white flex comes into it from the bottom - one and the same flex???

Down from switch on the left to the airing cupboard floor, along then up in the right hand corner to the clock.
Yeah, wondered that about the feed to the timeclock but couldn't zoom in well enough. Think your description covered it anyway :)
 
Pic 3, of the cylinder, shows two cables coming out of the wall (top left). The one on the right, nearest the corner appears to go to the top of the cylinder. If so this for the electric immersion heater.

Question 1: Is there a switch where the cable enters the wall (can't tell from the pic)? If so it should be OFF.

Question 2: Where does left hand cable go?

Question 3: Have you checked the white valve as inanmcd suggested in post #7 earlier today?

Question 4: If so, what was the result?
 
Well spotted and no it shouldn't be running - no idea what boiler it is, but it looks old to me. I don't suppose the boiler itself would be controlling the pump would it?


The Boiler is a Gloworm Fuelsaver. Made not far from me in Belper, Derbyshire. Gloworm is now part of Vailiant. Its a conventional boiler, nothing fancy - no modulation or anything sexy like that. But nothing to go wrong either - it's just a transformer, thermostat & gas valve, no silly PCB to be replaced :) As to controlling the pump - I think that boiler even pre-dates "pump over run" (it has a cast iron heat exchanger) so I don't think the problem is there.

I do agree with others though.... the pump is powered on & running - it shouldn't be! Finding out why will be a big part of solving your problem.
 
Chances are one of those 2 ports are sending a demand , easiest way to find is isolate the electrical supply and remove an orange cable from one of these 2 ports . Turn power on if it still does it remove the other cable . If pump stops then that’s your problem , follow orange cable back and which ever one is connected to is the problem
 

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